The Global Fund's Board completed a three-day meeting in Geneva on Friday that reached solid agreement on multiple strategic issues that could easily have led to dissent.
Board members agreed on a new Chair from the private sector; a new Vice-Chair from an African NGO; an ambitious new target for fundraising; a new concept that each grant should normally have one Principal Recipient from government and one from outside government; a new method whereby countries can obtain financial support for well-developed national strategies for tackling HIV/AIDS, TB or malaria; a new approach to appointing Local Fund Agents; and more.
The Board meeting took place just two days after Dr. Michel Kazatchkine, the Fund's new Executive Director, took office.
The mood at the meeting was constructive and collegial -- which was not the case at the previous regular meeting, in Guatemala last November. The November meeting was dominated by the failure of the Board to find a candidate for Executive Director who was supported by a two-thirds majority of both "donor" and "recipient" Board members. (The Board later chose Dr. Kazatchkine at a special meeting in February.) The two meetings prior to Guatemala, in Marrakech in December 2005 and in Geneva in April 2006, had also been stressful, as the Board grappled with criticisms of the Secretariat's leadership and then coped with the decision of the then Executive Director to leave at the end of his contract.
Last week's Board meeting dealt primarily with discussing and voting on multiple strategy issues that had been worked on over the past two years by the Board's Policy and Strategy Committee. The decisions made are summarized below. The full text of all decisions made is available at www.theglobalfund.org/en/files/boardmeeting15/GF-BM15-Decisions.pdf.
[Note: The Fund holds two board meetings per year. The meeting held in Geneva from April 25-27 was the fifteenth such meeting. GFO was present, with observer status.]